Call it divine irony that Lucifer - God's archangel turned archenemy—would become an inspiration for people to seek Jesus, find eternal life and walk in the light.
For The Prince of Darkness, such a thought is probably unthinkable. For London-born author Wendy Alec, it's plenty plausible.
In fact, she's praying that people will turn open-heartedly to Christ when they read The Fall of Lucifer, her "supernatural epic novel" about the devil's demise. It releases this month from Realms, the new fiction imprint of Strang Communications.
"My great hope is that as people read this book—who are backslidden, who don't even go to church, who just reject the church and God—that as they read it quietly by themselves in the dead of night, they can see God the Father … and open their hearts," she said during a respite from moving with her husband and two children into their new home in Virginia.
Her hope is credible. The Fall of Lucifer benefits from a narrative that permits Alec to reveal the unrelenting love of God while telling the painful story of His chief angel's tragic error—a failed coup against heaven that led to the universal curse of sin.
"I suddenly realized when I started this that this was not Lucifer's story I was writing. This was God's story," adds Alec, who speaks softly yet with conviction about her subject.
That she would tell God's story is not surprising, considering her "day job" with GodTV. She is the creative director and network controller of the international television network she co-founded with her husband, Rory, 10 years ago in Great Britain.
Today Alec heads up five 24-hour Christian channels that broadcast from Jerusalem to 275 million viewers. GodTV reaches homes not only in her native England but also across the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia—in all, it is watched in more than 212 countries.
Despite her background in broadcasting, Alec is no stranger to the written word.
As an adult, she studied screenplay writing after first being introduced to it in England while growing up. A screenwriting professor at UCLA who was a friend of her family's and visited them regularly coached her in the craft.
In addition to being a first-time novelist—writing Lucifer during weekends, evenings, and breaks from her work and family—Alec has taken on the weighty assignment of trying to part the veil of eternity to give us a glimpse of "Christos" and His Father, "Yehovah."
She reveals them as deeply grieved by the rebellion of Lucifer and his subsequent exile into hell with one-third of heaven's angels. Her tale takes the form of modern fantasy writing—there is heraldry, pageantry, swordplay and epic conflict—but in this case, she says, it all is blended with biblical fact.
"I did a lot of study into the theological and a lot of study on the angelic," Alec, barely 40, says. "It seems that the angelic structures are set up with principalities, dominions, archangels—and I tried to stay as biblical as I could. And the rest is like Troy, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings. It's what it felt like in that epic fantasy world."
She introduces readers to three angelic "brothers"—Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel—who share a great love and respect for one another. Lucifer is the unquestioned greatest of the three. His seat in heaven is second only to God's throne, and he considers himself as well to be one of the most beloved of all the angels.
Alec offers a broad view of the angelic "race" that some Christian readers might object to as being extra-biblical. Angels eat, sleep, dream, laugh, run, sweat, cry, suffer physical wounds, bleed, feel pain, display moods and have free will.
As their chief, Lucifer embodies in the richest dimension qualities of musician and artist and civil and military commander. He also displays an intellectual prowess exceeding that of his companions.
In heaven, he enjoys a boundless freedom across the vast eternal environs of Yehovah's world. His relationship with his Creator is flawless until the day he hears of Yehovah's plan to create "man"—a human and mortal "race" that will bear the Creator's "DNA." Yehovah, he learns, will dwell in them.
To Lucifer, this is a sign the angels are no longer the most prized beings in Yehovah's creation. Jealously—a strange new feeling—grips him.
He is progressively driven mad by his unresolved feelings of distrust and rejection. They fester into an unrestrained contempt of Yehovah that usurps all Lucifer's thoughts except for ones of rebellion and war.
With portentous imagery Alec describes his fall and the establishing of the demonic order in a sort of legal protectorate outside heaven, and the coronation there of Lucifer as the fully demented Satan.
Ages later, comfortable in dark towers from which he administrates the destruction of Yehovah's beloved humanity, Lucifer is finally shaken by news that a mysterious ancient oracle has been fulfilled—a baby has been born among the humans who carries the Creator's very nature.
Alec uses the desperate view of ex-angels gone crazy with a lust to destroy people as her backdrop for contrasting the brokenheartedness of Christos and His Father for their besieged creation.
"This is my prayer," Alec notes, "that this book will have such life in it, the supernatural life of God, that it's going to change people's lives—because it changed mine."
She says it has permanently altered her outlook on one of the most commonly quoted verses of the Bible—John 3:16. It states: "'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life'" (NKJV).
"We say it so glibly," she notes. "But I can never look at that Scripture the same way again, because I knew after writing this book that the Father so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son."
It is exactly that impression of God's love being common, being for "whoever," that is spurring Alec to get her book into the hands of as many people as she can. Her intention is that the novel go first into pop culture, then beyond.
She already has a film deal in the works for Lucifer with a London-based group, Warboys Entertainment. The movie is expected to start preproduction next year before being shopped to Hollywood studios and released in 2008 or 2009. Two more films are planned to follow.
She has signed with another London-based company as well, Markosia Enterprises, to adapt Lucifer to a comic book and a graphic novel.
"These are people who have no church base and who have absolutely no conception of church," she says. "When I see that they get it and they love the story, that makes everything worthwhile.
"[Lucifer] is written for the believer," she adds, "but it's also written for people to give—if they have a husband who doesn't believe, let them read it. If their children are backslidden, let them read it. If they have unsaved friends or neighbors, pass it out to them."
That Lucifer would be headed for the screen means the story, in its original form, has come almost full circle. Alec began it as a screenplay seven years ago.
It was to be about the angelic brothers Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer. As she worked on the screenplay, however, she began to consider writing a "prophetic book" about why the world is gripped in an ongoing spiritual conflict.
The book, which she wrote in a year, began as a discourse between Lucifer and Michael. Writing it led her to what she describes as the edge of "seeing things that I didn't know if I had permission to write about."
"I felt that the Father Himself lifted a veil and gave me permission to write the story," she says. "It was a very serious thing for me."
Alec doesn't claim to have seen angels or visions of heaven while she wrote. But she does admit the story took on a life of its own. There were times, she says, when she felt impressed by God to write on a certain subject or theme.
One portion that she believes God inspired her to write was her first description of Yehovah's voice, which she says was "as that of a thousand waters … infinitely more beautiful than imagination had ever the capacity to conceive … authoritative, noble, and valiant, yet filled with grace and exquisite tenderness."
Alec has four other novels in the making that as a five-book series will chronicle the lives of the three angels until the final judgment of Lucifer by Yehovah. She considers the books, comic book, graphic novel and films to be a well-rounded effort at "prophetic, creative evangelism."
This type of evangelistic approach is not meant, necessarily, to be literary or otherwise artistic, but it ought to open the heart of the reader or viewer to God, Alec believes. She exemplifies this with an experience she had while writing Lucifer.
God showed her in prayer an ordinary house key. She believes He was saying about her book: "Wendy, I'm giving you the key for every man's heart"—meaning, in part, that certain creative works can have an appeal not limited by age or cultural identity. She notes J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which is read, or now watched, by people of all ages.
She hopes to make the same mass connection with The Fall of Lucifer. "I felt that the Lord said to me: 'That's what creative evangelism is for. My people need to do the same.'
"God created the heart of man, so God knows how to touch every man," she says. "God is so creative. We should be leading creativity. So often we lag behind. But I believe we should be forerunners."
Jimmy stewart is managing editor of Charisma magazine.
New Fiction Imprint Explores
New Realms in Christian Publishing
New Realms in Christian Publishing
Strang Communications will release four novels in the fall.
Strang Communications is preparing to carve out a new territory in Christian fiction with the creation of an imprint debuting this fall.
Realms fiction will present novels covering a variety of visionary subjects, including supernatural thrillers, fantasy adventure, time travel and alternative history, to both Christian and general markets. The first four titles in the line are to release in October.
"Our books take you to realms you've never been before," says Jeff Gerke, senior editor of Realms. "We believe we've identified a gap in Christian retailing. It's a type of fiction no other Christian publisher is concentrating on."
Gerke says the novels are more "fantastical" than much of today's Christian fiction, which is often limited to prairie romances, suspense and legal thrillers. "They've dipped their toe in it," he says of Christian publishers who have released visionary fiction. "We're leaping and waving our arms and saying, 'This is who we are.'"
The first release is Wendy Alec's The Fall of Lucifer, which deals with the story of Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer in the heavens and the jealousy that drove Satan to rebel and plunge the world into sin. Daughter of Prophecy by Miles Owens is a fantasy adventure in which a young woman receives a prophecy that she will save the kingdom, but demonic forces try to kill her before she can.
In Fallen From Babel by T.L. Higley, a modern-day unbeliever is transported to biblical Babylon where he is hunted by rivals and must discover how to get home. The Personifid Project by Ruth Bartlett is a futuristic story in which an artificial intelligence corporation achieves the technology needed to erase the ability to choose between good and evil.
Gerke says Realms' novels will focus on "the seen world and the unseen one—God at work and the forces of evil at work.'' He notes that all the books released through Realms "are clearly Christian," although they aren't written "to evangelize the way a tract would."
"They're all definitely Christian books," he says. "All of them have a Christian worldview and are Christian in some form," he added.
Strang Communications, which publishes Charisma magazine, plans to release eight more novels in 2006, four in the spring-summer season and four more in the fall.